FAQs

What is Safe Place?
How can I recognize a Safe Place?
What types of locations are Safe Place sites?
Who should use Safe Place?
What if I go to a Safe Place site that isn’t open?
What is TXT 4 HELP?
What happens when I go to a Safe Place site?
Will I have to wait long at the Safe Place site?
What happens when the Safe Place volunteer arrives?
Do I have to go to a shelter if I go to a Safe Place site?
Will my parent(s) or guardian(s) be told where I am?

What is Safe Place?
Safe Place is a community program where youth agencies, local businesses and local government partner to create a network of places where youth in crisis can get immediate help. The Safe Place community assures a 24/7 option is available for young people.

How can I recognize a Safe Place?
Safe Place sites are identified by the bright yellow and black diamond-shaped “Safe Place” signs or decals.

What types of locations are Safe Place sites?
Fire stations, libraries, fast food restaurants, YMCAs, Boys and Girls Clubs, buses (mobile Safe Places), convenience stores, and other businesses all serve as Safe Place sites in different communities. Look for the sign!

Who should use Safe Place?
Any youth under age 18 can get help at a Safe Place site.  If you are having problems at home, suffering from abuse or neglect, lost or in some dangerous situation, with a drunk or unsafe driver, or just need to talk about a problem, go to the nearest Safe Place site.

What if I go to a Safe Place site that isn’t open?
Most Safe Place sites have a Safe Place decal that says, “If Closed Call” and provides a local number to contact.  If the decal is not there, you can look for another Safe Place site that is open or call the local community crisis line.  You can also TXT 4 HELP.

What is TXT 4 HELP?
TXT 4 HELP is a nationwide service offered by Safe Place to help teens connect to the closest location where they can get immediate help and safety.
Here is how it works:
If you’re in a crisis, text the word SAFE, along with your current location (address/city/state), to the number 69866.
We’ll text you back an address of the nearest Safe Place site and contact number for the local youth shelter.  In cities that don’t have a Safe Place program, you will receive the name and number of the nearest youth shelter. If there is no local shelter or safe place, please call the National Runaway Switchboard Hotline Number (1-800-RUNAWAY).
This text service is available nationwide.

What happens when I go to a Safe Place site?
Just tell an employee, “I need a Safe Place.” The employee will find a safe and comfortable spot where you can wait while he or she contacts the local Safe Place agency. A Safe Place volunteer or agency will arrive to talk with you.

Will I have to wait long at the Safe Place site?
A Safe Place volunteer or agency staff member should arrive within 20-30 minutes.

What happens when the Safe Place volunteer arrives?
The volunteer will talk with you and help you figure out your options. The volunteer will be happy to take you to a youth shelter or counseling agency if you would like additional assistance.

Do I have to go to a shelter if I go to a Safe Place site?
No. The decision to go to the shelter is voluntary.  At the shelter, no one will force you to stay.  The decision is always yours.

Will my parent(s) or guardian(s) be told where I am?
Yes, but only if you choose to go to a local shelter or youth agency. The law dictates the agency must contact your legal guardians to let them know that you are safe. Remember the counselors will be there as objective third parties should your parents/guardians arrive. If you make any allegations of physical abuse, child protective services will be contacted.

If you’re in trouble or need help, text SAFE (plus your current location) to 69866!
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